Thursday, October 25, 2007


After I rented CURSE OF THE CRYING WOMAN from Netflix, this one popped up as a recommendation; it's another little gem from the golden era of Mexican horror. Elena and Eduardo live in a creepy old house with Elena's godmother, Sara, who is also their housekeeper and a practicing witch. As in a fairy tale, the witch's mirror foretells the death of Elena at the hands of her husband, who is in love with another woman. When Sara prays to her Dark Lord, she is told that she cannot prevent the death, and sure enough, Eduardo poisons Sara's milk and she dies. Eduardo marries Deborah (Rosita Arenas) and brings her home to discover that the house is haunted by Elena's ghost. When Eduardo sees Elena in the witch's mirror, he throws a lantern at it, which smashes the mirror but also causes a fire which disfigures Deborah and leads to an "Eyes Without a Face" twist: with Deborah wrapped in bandages, Eduardo steals corpses to use skin and body parts to restore Deborah's looks. There are some grisly goings-on with a pair of severed hands, and there's a nifty plot device of the witch being able to see through the eyes of an owl which just happens to be in an operating room (not very sanitary, I would think). By the end, the plot loses coherence, or to put it a nicer way, I guess you could say that a dream-like logic takes over; my plot notations concerning the end are rather vague. This is another low-budget horror film that gets by on atmosphere. The acting is about par for the course; the only cast member I've heard of is Rosita Arenas, who played another put-upon bride in CRYING WOMAN. There are some striking shots now and then, and the print from Casa Negra is in pretty good shape. A good October evening's entertainment. [DVD]

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